The Today show has yet to announce who will be taking over Gifford's spot, but O'Connell wouldn't mind having his name tossed in the ring

By Maria Pasquini
December 17, 2018 12:53 PM

Jerry O’Connell would love to share a screen with Hoda Kotb.

The Today show has yet to announce who will be taking over Kathie Lee Gifford‘s spot as the co-host of the show’s popular fourth hour, but O’Connell wouldn’t mind having his name tossed in the ring.

Although the host of Bravo’s Play by Play, 44, told E! News over the weekend that “officially, I have not heard anything,” he shared that he has great admiration for the show — and for Kotb, 54.

“I love that format. I love Hoda,” he said, calling the television host “an infectious, beautiful soul.”

“It would be an honor for anyone who gets to be there with her,” he added, before explaining that fans of his shouldn’t get their hopes up. “Is it happening? No.”

Hoda Kotb, Jerry O'Connell and Kathie Lee Gifford
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

RELATED: Kathie Lee Gifford Leaves Today — Who Could Fill Her Spot Alongside Hoda Kotb?

Although it’s still up in the air about who will take Gifford’s place, a source recently told PEOPLE that Jenna Bush Hager, who joined the program in September 2009, is the frontrunner.

“Nothing has been determined about her replacement. She’s here until April, anyway. But it’s looking like Jenna,” the source shared, explaining that “she’s in the mix because she’s a favorite among viewers and staffers and she has already filled in for Kathie Lee every time she’s been away.”

Announcing her departure from the the Today show after 11 years may have been emotional for Gifford, 65, but it was also a massive weight lifted off her shoulders.

“I feel so relieved,” she said on-air the day after announcing the news.

“I’ve known it was coming for a long, long time and you want to get your story out before somebody else tries to tell your story in an inaccurate way,” she told her Today family — including Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Kotb. “I’ve always tried to be an authentic person, I’ve been honest all along, so when you’re misrepresented, it bothers you because you say, ‘I want everybody to know my truth.’ “

“Hoda’s known it for a long, long time,” Gifford continued. “All these other projects have been bubbling up … and it’s so exciting. Movies and music and so many wonderful things. And I need the time for them to do them properly.”

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